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Operation Mayhem [Paperback]

Steve Heaney MC , Damien Lewis
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Jun 2015

OPERATION MAYHEM is the first ever account of a truly epic elite forces mission: one of the most highly decorated in modern military history.

Airlifted deep into the heart of the African jungle in the midst of a bloody civil war, twenty-six operators from the secret British unit X Platoon were sent into combat against two thousand rebels - being used as bait to lure the enemy into a decisive, do-or-die battle.

High on blood-lust, voodoo and drugs, the rebels were notorious for their brutal savagery. Equipped with captured armour, heavy machine-guns and grenade-launchers, they vastly outgunned the men of X Platoon - who were kitted out with pitiful supplies of ammunition and malfunctioning rifles, plus no body armour, grenades or heavy weaponry.

Intended to last just days, the mission mutated into a desperate siege, as the men of X Platoon - more formally known as the Pathfinders - faced what the rebels dubbed 'Operation Kill British'. Half-starved, surviving on giant African snails, fungi and other bush tucker, this handful of elite warriors were forced to make their stand unaided and alone. They fought using grenades made from old food-tins and 'punji fields' - rows of vicious sharpened bamboo-stakes - as the locals joined forces with them to defend against the onslaught.

Sergeant Steve Heaney was awarded the Military Cross for taking control of the battle after X Platoon lost their commanding officer. His story is full of the rough-and-ready humour and steely heroics with which these elite soldiers carried out operations far into hostile terrain.

The ferocious close quarter combat at the village of Lungi Lol brought to an end the horrific, decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone. OPERATION MAYHEM is the first ever account of this untold true story - one fought and won deep behind enemy lines.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (4 Jun 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 1409148459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409148456
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 766,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Book Description

No back up. No air-support. No rescue. No chance. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Steve Heaney joined the Parachute Regiment Juniors at sixteen, then passed Parachute Regiment selection and joined 3 PARA in 1987. Two years later he successfully undertook selection into X Platoon - more formally know as the Pathfinders. He went on to serve with that unit for over a decade, working with almost every Special Forces unit with which the British military has links.

In 1999 he was promoted to Platoon Sergeant. The following year, he was the first non-officer in the unit's history to be awarded the Military Cross for his leadership and courage during Operation Mayhem. He was also awarded the Commanding Officer's Commendation for finding arms caches in Northern Ireland.

Sergeant Heaney left the British military in 2001, by which time he was the most experienced Military Parachutist in the British Army. He has spent the last decade working as a senior military advisor to one of Britain's key allies.

Damien Lewis worked as a war and conflict reporter for major broadcasters, reporting from across Africa, South America, the Middle and Far East, and has won numerous awards for his journalism. In 2001 he wrote his first book, an international number one bestseller translated into over thirty languages, and adapted into a film and stage play.

His books OPERATION CERTAIN DEATH, APACHE DAWN and ZERO SIX BRAVO were all SUNDAY TIMES bestsellers, as were his previous co-authored military books, FIRE STRIKE 7/9, co-wriitten with Sergeant Paul 'Bommer' Grahame, and IT'S ALL ABOUT TREO, co-authored with Dave Heyhoe. Several of his elite forces books are in the process of being made into movies or TV dramas.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed. Reviews shown are from other formats of this item.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT LEADERSHIP. eXCELLENT FIGHTING MEN. 3 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book - as an exsquaddie, it gives a clear and excellent view of what the well trained and disciplined soldier can achieve. Steve shows what a platoon sergeant has to control and how he does it. The Pathfinders, origonally from the Brigade of Guards, were disbanded in 1972 for whatever reason, and ressurected in the 1990's. The personnel now serving as X platoon/Pathfinders are of the highest calibre as this excellent account of the mayhem and the uselessness of the MOD and it's backside crawlers. The firefight must have been hell, however, it was controlled by excellent leadership. Well done Steve and all your comrades.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Phantom Platoon on a fast ball out of areas Operation, under uquipped & lacking int they beg, steal and borrow what they needed to find, fix and flatten the baddies. Its brutal, warts and all of what life is really like in a tight knit SF unit at work and play. If your sick of reading the milk tray fairy tale SF novels written by ghost writing walter mittys then Steve Heaneys Operation Mayhem is a must!

Eddy Gumbo
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Operation Mayhem 17 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This just has to be a 5 star+ rating because it is a true story of the unsung heroes of the special forces engaged in a truly amazing episode in military history. If this was fiction it would invoke sentiments like 'good story, a bit far fetched' and the like.
It also illustrates the many components of human emotions in different situations.
For me it is the book of the year so far.
Immediate delivery by Amazon was appreciated

William Griffin
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Operation Mayhem 2..? 6 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover
I've read many of these type of books albeit different missions / locations but this is the first where I felt I was actually there. The way it was written came across as a very personal but honest account of what actually happened added with a very dry humour. Great book, highly recommended - when's the next one..?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Really well told and captures how the events unfolded on the ground. A great example of british soldiers ingenuity and tenacity
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Job well done 17 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not a woman who would normally read military or war books, but as he was a local guy I bought it for my husband. Just picked it up one day started reading, found it easy to follow, and made for very interesting reading.Amazed at his courage,at everyones in fact. Miracle they survived with little help from the army.Well done boys proud of you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By HTR
Format:Hardcover
What a refreshingly genuine, well written and enlightening story, about what was obviously an amazing op to be on. Steve's personal, measured, yet uninhibited account puts you right into the little African village, indeed right into the trenches. Real events, real people, real bullets - much needed after the years of fictional SF operation books. PF have, over the subsequent years, kept maintaining the bar that was set during 'Operation Mayhem'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I do not normally read this type of book, so did not know what to expect. However from the off it was as though I was there in the thick of the action. It has been written in a way that I felt I knew everybody personally. The more I read the less I wanted to put it down.
The attention to detail and professionalism against almost impossible odds was outstanding and shows what can be achieved. It also shows how the human spirit, when presented with a cause to fight for can come through with anything thrown at it.
Steve and his colleagues went about their task in the knowledge that they could have been wiped out, however with their attention to detail they knew that they could redress the balance and move the odds in their favour.
I now understand what being on the frontline in the military means. It is definately not for the faint hearted and they have my utmost admiration and respect for their bravery and heroism.
Superbly written account of beating adversity and an insight into how it was achieved.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Still to read but service so far really good
Published 35 minutes ago by Mr M Lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
Very good read. Well written.
Published 1 day ago by Titch
5.0 out of 5 stars British at their best
What can i say have read it twice already What a story and its all true this is a must read book.If you have military back ground or a member of family is in the forces u must... Read more
Published 4 days ago by drikersunited
5.0 out of 5 stars A 5 star read!
A great insight to Steve's experience whilst leading the pathfinders during a very difficult confrontation in Sierra Leone. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Claire Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
to be read
Published 5 days ago by John T White
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, absorbing, incredible!
I found Operation Mayhem an absorbing read. It’s a tense, adrenalin charged, and, in parts, incredible story of a group of highly trained men facing a daunting enemy – the... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Sue Ash
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Proper front line soldiers - Archway Jacko, 2011 SAS op.
Published 17 days ago by Neil2445
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
Superb reading. Just couldn't put the book down once it got going. It's got the lot - humour, courage, fear, and of course sheer guts and determination. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Ian R Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Read!!
This is a riveting book. A detailed review of a very dangerous and under resourced mission. Just shows the type of people we have in our forces that often go through their careers... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Geoffrey Ian Land
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
ready for the next book
Published 20 days ago by Mr Raymond Sefton
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